So there’s this trend that’s become popular known as “cake pops”, which sounds a little funky and odd to me. I just picture cake-flavored lollipops or pieces of cake on sticks, which, not surprisingly, is exactly what cake pops are, but people do some insanely creative things with them. I’ve never tried these cake pop things before, but I’m always up for trying something new. I decided to try these little biddies when I was home sick for a few days (don’t worry, I didn’t serve them to anyone…not really anyway), and I got the idea of a citrus combination from another blog.The sun is shining more here in New England so it’s about time to start using fun ingredients that brighten the day, like lemons, oranges, and strawberries anyway. I start to crave these juicy fruits more often as the weather gets warmer so I figured I might as well start playing with some new ideas.
I don’t really have the desire to make cake lollipops, but I kinda like the idea of cake truffles (the pop without the stick). Who needs the stick anyway? These are simple enough to create without them though they may be a little easier to handle in some of the steps with a sturdy toothpick or lollipop stick.
Through my research of cake pops, I found that you need just a few simple ingredients:
- Cake mix & the ingredients to make it
- Frosting (canned or your own…I always prefer my own because I dislike large amounts of sugary goo…unless it’s the chocolate stuff)
- Candy melts or baking chocolate
Easy. I have most of those ingredients on hand anyway, but I went a little further than the basic requirements. I used a lemon cake mix, but I added the zest of two lemons and a very large orange (using my new favorite kitchen tool-the zester I got for my birthday). I also replaced some of the water in the recipe for fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juice.
For the frosting, which is mixed in with the cake pieces to form the cake balls, I made my favorite cream cheese frosting and added orange extract instead of vanilla. I made a full batch, but I only used a cup of it for the cake truffles. I used the rest for some leftover pumpkin cupcakes
Finally, instead of candy melts or baking chocolate, I went with white chocolate chips. I desperately wanted to use white chocolate to coat these, but finding white chocolate candy melts or baking chocolate at your local grocery store isn’t the easiest feat. If you have a craft store or a specialty cake store nearby though, I highly recommend picking up a decent supply of candy melts if you want to make cake pops. White chocolate, while theoretically fabulous for dying different colors, has horrible melting properties. It doesn’t have the fats and properties that chocolate does so it won’t melt the same. It will often burn before it will melt enough to coat anything smoothly. I managed to frost the tops of approximately 10 cake truffles off of a whole bag of chips…so I’ll need to remember that for next time…
Citrus Cake Truffles
Stuff You’ll Need
Makes 30 cake truffles
For the Cake
- Lemon cake mix & ingredients to make the mix
- 2 lemons
- 1 orange
- 1-2 cups cream cheese icing (canned or home-made)
- White chocolate chips or candy melts
- Zester, 9″ x 13″ pan, parchment paper, baking sheet
For the Frosting
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp orange extract
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
How to Do It
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line and lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with parchment paper.
- Mix the ingredients for the cake mix, but omit 1/3 cup of water that’s required for the recipe. Zest two lemons and one orange, and juice one lemon and one half of the orange directly into the mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients until smooth, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Follow package directions for baking time.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting (or open your can if you haven’t already). Cream the butter and cream cheese until soft and completely smooth using a paddle attachment. Add the salt and orange extract, and whip for another 30 seconds. If you’re using a stand mixer, change from the paddle to the whip attachment, and begin adding the confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time. Whip between each addition of the sugar, and continuously scrape the sides of the bowl. When the frosting is done, set aside.
- Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool completely in the pan.
- When the cake is cool, break it into large pieces to put into a mixing bowl. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be manageable. Mix the pieces with a heavy spoon to break them into crumbs.
- Add 1 cup of cream cheese icing to the cake crumbs, and throughly blend it in. If the texture still appears dry, add another half cup of cream cheese icing. The texture should be soft and moist but not sticky and wet. The cake crumbs need enough icing to stick together but not so wet that they’ll melt quickly. Quite frankly, they should be stiff enough to form balls easily.
- Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to measure hunks of the mixture, and form them into rounded balls. Place them on a baking sheet. If you’re using tooth picks or lollipop sticks, now is the time to insert them into the truffles. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Before removing the truffles from the freezer, melt the baking chocolate or candy melts according to package directions. Either dip each truffle individually into the melted candy, or use a pastry bag with a round tip to ice the top. Refrigerate the truffles for 30 minutes, or until the candy sets.